- FanDuel has announced a promotional partnership with PGA Golf superstar Jordan Speith
- Speith is the second PGA pro to have their own sports betting sponsorship deal and the first to go with FanDuel
- Bryson DeChambeau signed on to promote DraftKings last year
The marketing trend of sportsbooks signing up as ‘official sports betting partners’ of players, leagues, teams, media and any other imaginable entity shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it could easily escalate from here as every ‘moving part’ in the sports/betting/media ecosystem picks sides in the competitive marketplace. The latest news comes from golf where current FedEx cup ranked #2 player Jordan Spieth has named FanDuel as the ‘exclusive sports betting and daily fantasy provider’ for…..Jordan Spieth.
In all fairness, such a ‘micro’ partnership deal makes perfect sense in an individual sport like golf. Golfers are among the last ‘independent contractors’ left in the professional sports world. NASCAR drivers might come to mind but every Cup Series superstar is supported by a large team of professionals both on and of the track. In terms of high level professional sports with a significant betting following it’s likely golf and tennis as the only contested by true individual competitors. Sure, there are caddies and swing coaches and whatnot but these all work at the behest of the golfer himself.
Spieth is the second PGA professional to ink a partnership deal with a sports betting provider. Last year, when Bryson DeChambeau was the hottest golfer on the Tour, FanDuel announced a deal to make him ‘the PGA face’ of their brand. It’s somewhat surprising that nearly a year has passed before we got the second sportsbook partnership with a PGA superstar. Factor in the booming popularity of golf betting and it’s even more of a surprise. It’s almost unfathomable that we now won’t see a number of other similar deals announced in the next six months.
Here’s the 4-1-1 on the parameters of the relationship from the press release announcing the deal:
This new partnership designates FanDuel, an official sports betting partner of the PGA TOUR, as the exclusive sports betting and daily fantasy provider for Jordan Spieth. As part of the relationship, Spieth will be featured in national television commercials and will be the face of FanDuel’s golf products. Spieth will work with FanDuel on content for social media and responsible gaming initiatives. FanDuel will also support the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation to continue its great work in the community.
NASCAR drivers rightfully get a lot of love for their promotional abilities but PGA golfers aren’t too far behind. Here’s Spieth on the deal with FanDuel:
“As the world of legal sports betting grows rapidly in the U.S, I’m incredibly excited about what’s happening in the space and the potential it has to bring new fans to the sport of golf. As the PGA Tour and others in the golf world have strongly embraced legalized sports gaming, I look forward to working with FanDuel to find unique ways to engage the fast-growing fanbase.”
For those of you not up on your golf (and if you’re a sports bettor you should be) the press release has you covered:
Spieth’s golf career has been one of dominance from his days as a junior golfer to today, where he is one the most recognizable global stars. Very few golfers have entered the professional ranks with the poise and dominance of Jordan Spieth. He was the youngest player to win on the PGA TOUR in 82 years, when he won the John Deere Classic in 2013 at the age of 19. At 21 years of age he won the 2015 Masters and the 2015 US Open and two years later he won the 2017 Open Championship. 2021 has been a great season for Jordan, who is currently 2nd on the Fed-Ex Cup rankings. He has 9 Top-10 finishes this season, including earning his 12th PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.
Mike Raffensperger, Chief Marketing Officer of FanDuel Group, alluded to the popularity of golf betting in his press release quote:
“Golf is an incredibly popular sport on the FanDuel platform and we are always looking for new ways to engage the growing golf fanbase and community. As one of the most universally admired golfers at the top of his game, Jordan Spieth is a perfect fit for our first official golf partner and the face of golf at FanDuel.”
Spieth told Golf Digest that he wants to help keep the momentum going for golf as a major spectator (and betting) sport:
“Rounds are up since COVID, celebrities are posting videos. So you’ve kind of got this opportunity to bring an audience that maybe didn’t watch golf all the time into golf via responsible gaming. And you’ve got a cool opportunity with golf because it’s so unique. I think it can bring a bigger audience into this sport that’s already been growing the past couple years.”
FanDuel rival DraftKings might be making the biggest statement yet for the symbiosis between PGA golf and sports betting–they’re partnering with the PGA Tour to get mobile betting market access in Arizona and building a ‘state of the art’ retail sportsbook at the TPC Scottsdale course.